Thing have heat up plenty at the FIFA World Cup at the end of round 2 of fixtures in Russia. With Colombia’s 3-0 win over Poland in Group H, all teams have played two games in their respective groups. Some have advanced while some are precariously poised prior to the third group stage games that will decide which all countries make it into the last-16. The first 16 matches saw 38 matches while the second 16 produced 44 goals with two seven goal matches – Belgium beating Tunisia and England downing Panama in Group G the highest scoring games in the tournament.
Let’s take a quick recap of the second round of matches
Some decent contenders for the best game in round two. There’s Germany vs Sweden back-and-forth contest that was thrillingly decided in the last few seconds with a Toni Kroos goal. Denmark and Australia may have played out a draw but their game was equally open, full of chances and with both teams making a good impression of themselves. But the winner should well and truly be the first comeback win of the tournament: Switzerland vs Serbia. Serbia led the game before Switzerland came back with the winner coming right on the stroke of the 90th minute. What happened in the celebrations, the aftermath and the reactions pretty much a result of how feisty and incredibly fought game it was.
Like the first round of matches, the second matchday also produced some breathtaking strikes, some deft touches, some powerdrives to make for top goal of the tournament contender. The contenders are: Ahmed Mousa pacing away from the Iceland defence, rounding the defenders, then the keeper and then keeping his head to find the corner of the goal; Luka Modric scoring a sublime corner around the Argentina defence leaving an already demotivated Willy Caballero with no chance; Heung-Min Son kept it late to find a goal for South Korea against Mexico but his left footed stunner doing enough to make this list; Kroos‘ curling effort from the edge of the area breaching the Sweden wall and the keeper is another top-notch hit. But the winner has to be Granit Xhaka‘s left footed belter from 20 yards out which not just powered past the defenders in its wake but gave Vladimir Stojkovic absolutely zero chance of saving it.
Quite a few contenders for this title from the second round of matches. It starts off with the hosts Russia who were once again impressive in their win over Egypt and contained Mohamed Salah with much ease; Croatia are another side who looked assured of themselves in all departments and the fact that they shut the door on Argentina only highlights that point; Belgium and England have both looked supreme in their group and gave the smaller teams no hope and Mexico were once again convincing in their play to justify they’re going to be tough to deal with and one team that didn’t get a win and yet looked great were Morocco – they had Portugal pegged back nearly the whole of the match since Cristiano Ronaldo’s early goal. With many teams putting up their collective hands for team of the round, picking was always going to be tough. But if it were to be one just one, Croatia would get the pick for their overall effective strategy and putting the plans into motion with ease.
This list can be truncated to include two players who have made a significant impact to their respective teams’ results in both rounds of matches. If they started off strongly, they’ve not stopped. And those two are Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane. With his hat-trick against Panama, Kane became the third England player to bag a trio for the Three Lions at a World Cup (after Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker) and is now top of the goal scoring charts. Not far behind is Lukaku with a brace each in both games and the Belgium striker looks composed as ever in front of goal while making smart off-the-ball runs. Good luck catching him!